On Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 Carrington Charitable Foundation celebrated the dedication of the latest completed Carrington House and handed the keys to U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer and Purple Heart recipient Holly Katke. We've been following the progress of Holly's home in Gilbert, AZ, for several months. Holly is the first woman combat Veteran to receive a Carrington House that has been renovated and refitted for ease of use and access.
Appearing at the event in Arizona were Michael Barrett, Head of Veterans Affairs for CCF; Lorna Gordon and Lori Grigg, EVP, Human Resources for Carrington Mortgage Holdings, both from the CCF Board of Directors; and CCF Chairman Rosemary Rose, who spoke on behalf of the Foundation.
Holly began her Navy career in 1998, going through basic training and then Hospital Corpsman “A" School, then being assigned to the Naval Health Clinic in Cherry Point, NC. She later received more medical training at Naval Medical Training Command in Portsmouth, VA. Her first sea duty assignment was aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, where she completed deployments to the Western Pacific and Persian Gulf, serving as both an Enlisted Surface Warfare and Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist.
Holly then graduated in 2008 from the Navy's most intense enlisted medical training program and reported to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC. The following year, she was deployed to Ramadi, Iraq, to provide medical support to SEAL Teams One and Three as an Expeditionary Warfare Specialist.
On April 15, 2010, while working with a Special Forces team in Iraq, Holly was critically wounded in action by sniper fire. She was medically evacuated back to the U.S. with injuries that included visual impairment and loss of mobility in her right arm, hand, and leg.
Since returning home, Holly has undergone extensive surgeries and treatment, but has managed to continue her education, earning a bachelor's degree, and, as of this past July, a master's. With her teenage daughter Leah, Holly Katke moved this summer from Sequim, WA, to Gilbert, AZ, where her Carrington House was being remodeled.
The one-story home got new flat exterior walkways (Holly sometimes uses a cane, sometimes a wheelchair), an updated kitchen compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act standards, new kitchen appliances and cabinets, new furniture throughout the house, a new walk-in/roll-in shower, new flooring, plumbing, electrical updates, and more.
“It's basically a brand new house," says Brandon Nicolas, VP, Carrington Development, who oversees all the renovations and remodels for Carrington House recipients.
CCF is grateful to the generous contributors who helped in the project. Those include: Free Wheel Foundation, Honor the Sacrifice, Lowe's, Victaulic Corporation of America, Ferguson Fire and Fab, and Metro Fire Equipment.
“The ache for home lives in all of us," wrote Maya Angelou. And the joy of providing a home for someone in need is immeasurable.
Welcome home, Holly Katke!